Suzann Thompson's polymer clay book, Polymer Clay for Everyone, is true to its title! The projects range from the simple to the skilled, but each one is an enjoyable romp in the world of polymer clay creating.

The book is organized in a very friendly fashion. Like most polymer clay books, it begins with a chapter explaining what polymer clay is, what tools to use, and how to master techniques ranging from candy cane twists, nine-square blocks, and Swiss rolls to wood grain and mokume gane. Armed with these techniques, the reader can then delve into the projects, which are wonderfully arranged in thematic sections such as miniatures, jewelry, gifts, home accessories, and special occasion items.

Why this book holds true to its name is not so much what's in it, but rather, what's not in it. When I was first learning about polymer clay, I bought every book I could get my hands on and studied them from cover to cover. All these books shared two characteristics: a photo gallery of professional work, and photos of the projects, which were themselves professionally finished.

Suzann's book does neither of these things. There is no professional gallery, just the projects, and the projects themselves have nicks, fingerprints, and other irregularities. The effect on me was one of joy. Here is a book that presents the projects without freaking me out first with perfection or hiding the problems of working with polymer clay!

I think Suzann's done a service to everyone (see the title!) who wants to play with clay but may get intimidated by the stunningly artistic and perfect work from the best artists working in this field. When I first started making projects, I didn't know what to do with my fingerprints and nicks, and nothing in the simple directions but sophisticated pictures helped me out. Polymer Clay for Everyone represents the projects they way they will actually turn out for the careful but not perfect crafter, and that is, to steal a line, a good thing.

Turning to the projects themselves, Polymer Clay for Everyone offers interesting and fun projects for the whole year. From a miniature grandfather clock and a clown cat trinket box to a ladybird light switch and Christmas ornaments, this book covers a range of occasions and needs. The projects utilize a variety of techniques from caning to Skinner blends to mokume gane, thus giving the reader guidance in expanding his or her polymer clay techniques.

Nothing is too difficult, although some of the projects would be time consuming, such as the Miniature Victorian Fireplace. However, there are also quick projects such as the Easy Picture Frame, and projects worth every second spent on them, such as the glow-in-the-dark bloodshot eyeballs, perfect for your next Halloween party!

As a general how-to book, Polymer Clay for Everyone hits the mark!


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